Simultaneous vs multiple submissions?

Q. What is the difference between simultaneous submissions and multiple submissions? Why do a lot of publishers not accept simultaneous submissions? Do you accept simultaneous submissions?

A. First off, the difference between multiple and simultaneous submissions is exactly what they’re called: simultaneous submissions mean submitting the same manuscript to multiple publishers at the same time. Multiple submissions means sending several different manuscripts to the same publisher, either at the same time or while still waiting on a response from the first submission.

So why don’t a lot of publishers like simultaneous submissions? Several reasons, actually. Number one being a time and money issue. Publishers don’t want to spend precious time and efforts reading a manuscript, liking it, checking their publishing schedule, sending it to another editor for a second opinion, and sending out an acceptance letter, just to find out that the author sold the rights to the book the day before. It’s annoying and frustrating, and it does waste a lot of time and energy that most houses – especially smaller presses – can’t afford (or, at least don’t want to).

While many houses have put in the phrase “simultaneous submissions accepted, if noted in the query letter” into their submissions requirements, not all authors follow those rules, and therefore has left editors high and dry on sales. So, to make things easier and take out risk on the publisher, many houses have adapted to the no simultaneous submissions rule. So, congratulations to all those authors who think they’re above following directions, you have wonderfully screwed up the opportunity for other future submitters in your blind arrogance.

So, on to the question of whether Leucrota accepts simultaneous submissions.

Yes, we do. Why? Well, because frankly all of the editors remember what it feels like to put one copy of our work in the mail, and wait seven months only to receive a rejection letter, and then grudginly repeat the process. I think it’s stupid, honestly. It takes a hell of a long time to write the damn manuscript, so why would any author in their right mind want to spend one to three, or maybe even more years sending out…what, seven submissions? A newbie author’s chance of being accepted by a publisher in this illustration is not one in seven – but rather one in 7,000. So, odds would definately be more in the author’s favor by the author sending out more submissions, correct? Yes, now let’s move on…

So yes, we remember what it’s like, and we sympathize with struggling writers. So we do accept simultaneous submissions. We do also ask that you mention – quite clearly – in your query letter and again on your cover letter that your manuscript is a simultaneous submission. It’s only courteous to comply, and shows that you’re honest and trustworthy as an author, an individual, and that you’re someone we want to work with. And no, to answer the itching question in the back of your mind that’s making you nearly twitch out of your chair, mentioning your submission is a simultaneous submission does not hurt your chances of acceptance.

Another reason why you want to be honest up front? Well, because you don’t want to screw yourself. While there’s no such thing as a universal “author blacklist” (if you’ve read my previous postings regarding the topic you’ll know what I’m talking about), that doesn’t mean that if you lose or betray our trust on our first meeting or interaction, that you won’t blacklist yourself from our press. Any other press would do the same, so it’s not just us being picky. We don’t want to deal with liars, tricksters, or sneaks. It’s bad for business, and our editors don’t get along with snakes well. In fact, I find that rattlesnake with ketchup tastes quite nice, so you can only imagine what I’ll do to a submission we find has been quietly submitted elsewhere.